As a dynamic group of engaged and informed alumni, the alumni UBC Advisory Council provides advice and counsel to the alumni UBC Board and the Associate Vice-President/Executive Director, alumni UBC. The Council is also available as a unique group for consultation by university leaders on key UBC developments and opportunities. Council members:
- Advise on emerging strategies for engaging UBC alumni
- Participate in active dialogues around university issues and opportunities
- Communicate to, and share feedback from, their alumni constituencies and peer groups
- Bring leadership and expertise to committees and special work teams of the Board as requested
- Serve as passionate ambassadors and advocates for UBC and alumni UBC
Ross Langford, BCom’89, LLB’89 – Co-Chair, alumni UBC Advisory Council; Chair, alumni UBC Board of Directors
Connie Fair, BCom’84, MBA’88 – Sauder School of Business
Connie Fair is the President and CEO of the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC (LTSA). She has a BComm and MBA from UBC and recently obtained the designation of CPA, CMA.
Connie joined the LTSA from the role of President and CEO of BC Assessment, where she helped that organization earn a reputation as one of the world’s leaders in property assessment. Prior to joining BC Assessment, Connie worked as a real estate consultant, and was the Associate Director of the Real Estate Division within the UBC’s Sauder School of Business. Administration.
Connie is a member of the Real Estate Institute of Canada and was awarded a honorary designation with the Appraisal Institute of Canada to recognize her work within the professional appraisal community. In 2012, she earned her designation as an Institute-Certified Director through the Institute of Corporate Directors and currently serves on the Board of the International Women’s Forum, Vancouver. In 2012, Connie was also named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the WXN.
An accomplished author and speaker, Connie is recognized internationally as an expert in property assessment, and innovative application of technology in property valuation as well as a leader of organizational change initiatives.
Scott McLeman, BSc’98, LLB’04 – Department of Athletics
Scott McLeman is a partner practising in Gowlings’ Calgary office in the area of business law with an emphasis on financial services, real estate and diversified lending. He has extensive experience in secured transactions for lenders and borrowers, M&A, sales of private businesses, corporate governance (incorporation, reorganization and dissolution of companies and advice to shareholders, officers and directors) as well as commercial real estate acquisitions and sales.
Prior to joining Gowlings, Scott was a partner at the Calgary office of another national law firm. In 2010, Scott completed an in-house secondment with the syndicate group of one of the world’s largest banking and financial services. His community involvement includes the roles of Trustee, Canadian Athletic Foundation; Director, Calgary French and International School (“CFIS”); Coach at CFIS (basketball and volleyball); Director, Wood’s Homes Foundation; and Director, Hong Kong – Canada Business Association.
Iggy Chong, BCom’82 – Regional Markets Hong Kong
Ignatius KK (Iggy) Chong is Managing Director for the Greater China market at RBC Wealth Management in Hong Kong. Prior to RBC Wealth Management, Iggy held a number of senior roles at Coutts, which he joined in 1994, including Hong Kong Market Head, North Asia Head and Chair of the Family Business and Philanthropy division. Before working at Coutts, Iggy’s career in financial services began with RBC, where he supported the launch of RBC Private Banking Asia in 1990.
Born in Singapore, Iggy moved to Canada in 1977 and graduated in 1982 from UBC with a degree in finance. He obtained his CFA designation in 1996, and is a fellow member of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (FICB).
Tara Cookson, BA’09 – UBC Okanagan
Dr. Tara Cookson is Co-Founder and Director of Ladysmith, a feminist research consultancy that helps international development organizations collect, analyze, and take action on gender data. She has worked with UN Women, UNICEF, the OECD Development Assistance Committee, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, conducting research and advising on social policy and gender equitable development. Following original research in Peru on women’s experiences of participating in the world’s biggest anti-poverty schemes, Tara authored Unjust Conditions: Women’s Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs. She published the book Open Access through University of California Press in order to reach policymakers and program designers. This research led her to start Ladysmith, and bridge the gap between critical social science research and the policies and programs that impact women’s lives.
Tara holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar, an MA in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto, and a BA in International Relations and Spanish from UBC’s Okanagan Campus (’09). In 2017 Tara was thrilled to have the opportunity to return to UBC as a SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Geography at the Vancouver campus. In 2014 she received the Bill Gates Sr Prize for founding a leadership program for early career researchers at the University of Cambridge, called Learning for Purpose. She previously served as a proud board member of the Women’s Resource Centre in her hometown of Kelowna.
Natalie Cook Zywicki – Associate Vice-President/Executive Director, alumni UBC
Natalie Cook Zywicki is a member of the University of British Columbia’s development and alumni engagement leadership team. As the Executive Director/AVP for alumni UBC, Natalie plays a key role in leading efforts towards establishing a strong, sustainable and growing culture of alumni engagement at UBC and building a robust, strategic partnership between the alumni association and the university.
Natalie served as the Associate Executive Director at alumni UBC during UBC’s highly successful start an evolution alumni engagement and fundraising campaign, which concluded in September 2015. This dual-goal campaign was unique in Canada and exceeded expectations by raising $1.624 billion and engaging 130,005 alumni (more than doubling the annual rate of engagement since its launch).
In 2009, Natalie was appointed the Director of University Partnerships at alumni UBC and was tasked with the unique challenge of establishing a cohesive campus-wide alumni engagement program. Today, as the result of Natalie’s leadership, UBC has a highly effective cross-campus alumni engagement program that works collaboratively.
Over the past 28 years, Natalie has enjoyed successful careers in student recruitment, alumni engagement and fundraising in the post-secondary sector. Prior to joining UBC, Natalie launched her career in student recruitment at Brock University and then served six years at McMaster University successfully leading the DeGroote School of Business alumni and development program. In 2004, Natalie joined UBC as the Manager of Development and went on to lead the Faculty of Medicine’s alumni and development program, as well as the annual giving program.
Natalie, holds a BA and an MBA and has presented at several Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) national conferences and served on the CCAE National Board from 2008 to 2011.
Michelle Collens, BA’02 – Department of Athletics
A proud UBC alumna who played varsity volleyball for the Thunderbirds, Michelle Collens has made a career of her passion for sport. Focused in the area of sport hosting, Michelle has held positions with UBC Athletics, Sport Kelowna, 2010 Legacies Now and BC PavCo. Michelle is currently the manager of Sport Hosting with the City of Vancouver, working closely with all levels of government, tourism partners, and community organizations to develop a sport hosting strategic plan that focuses on economic and social development.
Michelle has a deep belief in the value of sport as a tool for change and social impact, and is committed to sharing this passion with her community. She is actively involved on the boards of KidSport Vancouver, the First Tee of Greater Vancouver, British Columbia Golf and, most recently, was appointed the assistant Chef de Mission for Team BC with the 2017 Canada Winter Games.
Dustin Cook, BA’01, MA’02 – Alumni at Large
Dustin holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of British Columbia and has served on Alumni UBC’s Finance and Audit Committee since 2008. He has spent the past thirteen years working in the Wealth Management industry, including over a decade with RBC. Dustin has achieved the Certified International Wealth Manager, Chartered Investment Manager, Financial Management Advisor, and Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute professional designations. He currently manages the Dustin Cook Advisory Group with RBC Dominion Securities and is an Associate Portfolio Manager and Wealth Advisor.
Dustin regularly fundraises for charities and is an avid supporter of Big Brothers Greater Vancouver. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, pursuing outdoor activities, restoring antique tools, and woodworking.
Michelle Cook, MJ’00 – Regional Market – Calgary
Michelle Cook is a Calgary-based senior communications advisor for the Government of Alberta. In a career spanning more than 20 years, Michelle has gained broad experience in the government, post-secondary education, and journalism sectors. She previously worked for Global Affairs Canada as well as the U.S. Department of State as the public affairs specialist at the U.S. Consulate General in Calgary. She also worked in UBC’s public affairs office for several years, where she specialized in promoting UBC’s research and teaching success stories to media worldwide. Her additional experience includes reporting for both of Vancouver’s daily newspapers, the Sun and the Province, and a stint at CTV Television in Calgary during the 1988 Winter Olympics. She has a Master of Journalism (’00) from the University of British Columbia and a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal. She has lived and worked across Canada as well as in Okinawa, Japan and Singapore, and spent a year at Hokkai Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan as a visiting research fellow, examining current issues in Japanese society, economy and culture.
Kenneth Craig, MA’60 – Alumni at Large
Ken Craig is a professor emeritus in UBC’s Department of Psychology. His earlier roles at UBC include associate dean of Graduate Studies, director of the Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology, and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. His less formal involvement ranges from playing football for the Thunderbirds to serving as president of the UBC Association of Professors Emeriti.
Ken completed a master’s degree in psychology at UBC and a PhD at Purdue University, before becoming a UBC faculty member in 1963. Presently funded by CIHR and the US National Institutes of Health, his research seeks a better understanding and control of pain, focusing upon infants and children and other populations with communication limitations. He has published more than 200 research papers and 10 books.
Awards he has received as an educator include the UBC Killam Prize for Excellence in Teaching and the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training. Research awards have included status as a CIHR Senior Investigator, the Canada Council Killam Research Fellowship, and a number of distinguished career awards. He has served as president of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Canadian Pain Society and presently is editor-in-chief of Pain Research & Management. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2015.
Jennifer Cue, BCom’86 – Alumni at Large
Jennifer is CEO of Jones Soda Co., a craft beverage company founded in Vancouver BC, now headquartered in Seattle, WA. Jennifer’s background included banking, investment banking and venture capital prior to joining full time with a portfolio company. In 1994 Jennifer joined Jones Soda Co. as a board member and then joined the company full time in 1995 to launch the company’s flagship brand, Jones Soda. From 1995 to the end of 2005, Jennifer played a key role in the launch and building of the Jones Soda brand and company, acting as CFO, COO and a board member. She ultimately returned to the Company as CEO in 2012 to turn the company around and build its portfolio of beverages again. Jennifer and Jones Soda Co. have created an Advisory Board for the company, which includes a selection of students from multiple universities, including those from the UBC Sauder School of Business, all who get the opportunity to participate in brand advisory meetings.
Jennifer received her B. Comm (Finance) from UBC in 1986 and completed an MBA (International Business) from McGill University in 1990. Jennifer is also a Chartered Financial Analyst. Jennifer has lived and/or worked in Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Seattle.
Jeevyn Dhaliwal, LLB’97 – Alumni at Large
Jeevyn Dhaliwal is a practicing lawyer who represents public sector and business clients in connection with workplace immigration and related employment issues. She is active in the legal community and is serving her third term as an elected Bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia, representing Vancouver County, in which she chairs the Act and Rules committee and is Vice Chair of the Legal Futures Taskforce, among other committee work. She also serves as a Board member, and is past president, of the South Asian Bar Association of British Columbia.
As selected by her peers, Jeevyn is included in the 2014-2020 editions of Best Lawyers Canada and she is a Lexpert Zenith Award winner.
Her community involvement extends to singing at charitable and sporting events and she has, over the years, been a frequent guest anthem singer for the Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey team.
Cole Evans – Student Representative – AMS
Currently serving as the President of the AMS of UBC Vancouver (AMS) – the leading student union in Canada – Cole has over three years of student leadership experience in the UBC community. With a professional background in project management, marketing, and the performing arts, he has a slate of diverse experiences that supports his passion for improving the experiences of UBC students. At the AMS, Cole’s work as President focuses on three core areas he’s passionate about; strategic development, business management, and community engagement. In addition to his role as AMS President, Cole is also currently serving as a Senator on the UBC Vancouver Senate.
Originally from Calgary, Cole enjoys skiing, hockey, travelling, and writing music when he’s out of the office. Prior to being elected as AMS President, Cole served as the AMS Vice-President Administration for the 2019/20 year. Additional experiences include a term as Chair of the AMS Human Resources Committee while serving as an elected Director of the AMS, as well as various positions in undergraduate societies.
Derek Fung, BA’99, BA’00, Dip (Ed)’00 – Alumni at large
Derek is an IT Consultant in the healthcare industry currently focused on improving patient care through the modernization and enhancement of clinical systems and technology within hospitals and care centres across British Columbia. In previous roles, Derek has held senior positions with various organizations including Electronic Arts, UBC and TELUS. With a deep passion for teaching, Derek taught telecommunications and computer networking for many years as an instructor at BCIT.
Derek completed an MBA at Queen’s University and an MBA at Cornell University. Additionally, Derek is a proud alumnus from UBC’s Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Arts and has attained a designation as a Project Management Professional and is a Cisco Certified Network Professional.
As a member on the UBC Alumni’s Advisory council, Derek believes that a positive and impactful experience in university will invariably transform a student’s personal outlook and professional life for decades ahead. By serving as an ambassador for UBC and alumni UBC, Derek strives to advocate for initiatives and strategies that will broaden and enhance both student and alumni experience to be a rewarding one.
Jennifer Gardy, BSc’00 – Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Jennifer Gardy is the Deputy Director, Surveillance, Data, & Epidemiology at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she oversees a team using genome sequencing and data science to drive progress towards malaria elimination around the world. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, she was an Associate Professor at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health, where she held the Canada Research Chair in Public Health Genomics. Dr. Gardy is a pioneer in the field of genomic epidemiology, using DNA sequencing to track infectious diseases, and in 2018 she was named one of the Most Influential Women in STEM by BC Business Magazine.
Outside of academia, Jennifer works in science communication. She’s hosted an eight-part science series for CBC Television, multiple episodes of CBC’s long-running documentary series The Nature of Things, and was a regular guest host on Discovery Channel Canada’s science newsmagazine, Daily Planet. She’s also blogged and written for Canadian newspaper The Globe & Mail, published a children’s book called It’s Catching! The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes, and has a second kids science book due out in 2020.
She received UBC’s alumni Builder award in 2017 and was recognized with an SFU Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, and in 2018 was named one of BC’s Most Influential Women in STEM.
Ross Gilmour, BASc’83 – Faculty of Applied Science
Ross Gilmour has over 37 years of experience primarily working on major design-build infrastructure projects in the construction industry across Canada and the US.
Ross is currently the Principle of Gilmour Infrastructure Consulting (GIC) in Vancouver, where he provides value engineering, constructability reviews, shadow bids / affordability estimates, critical path scheduling, risk assessments and other services for both public and private clients on major design-build (DB) and P3 infrastructure projects and pursuits across western Canada and USA.
Ross attended the University of Washington in Seattle and subsequently UBC in Vancouver where he received a BASc in Civil Engineering. During his time at both UBC and UW, Ross participated as a member of their varsity rowing teams, competing across Canada, the US and Europe. He is a professional engineer registered in the provinces of BC, Alberta, PEI, Washington and Hawaii.
Ross previously worked for Peter Kiewit Sons for 14 years as a VP and Area Manager, and prior to that for SCI / Strait Crossing for 20 years. During these periods, he held senior management roles on the pursuit and/or delivery some of the largest and most technically diverse design-build infrastructure projects in North America, including the Ottawa LRT Project, Confederation Line; Pitt River Bridge & Mary Hill Interchange Project, (DB), Vancouver; Millennium Line SkyTrain Guideway Project (DB); H-3 Windward Viaduct Project in Oahu, HI (DB); Seattle Sound Transit LRT Tunnel Project (DBB); Calgary 1988 Winter Olympic Speed Skating Oval (DBB); and Vancouver SkyTrain Expo Line (DBB).
Chris Gorczynski , BA’12, MM’13 – Alumni at Large
Chris Gorczynski is the Manager of Student Services for UBC’s Department of Civil Engineering and Director of Business Development at Vizable Insights, a data visualization consultancy specializing in Tableau. Holding two degrees from UBC, a BA in Psychology and Master of Management from the UBC Sauder School of Business, and primarily working on campus since graduating, Chris has been an active member of the UBC community for over 10 years.
Chris has served on numerous boards over the years and currently co-chairs the Master of Management Alumni Association, which he also founded and chaired from 2013 to 2015. He brings to the alumni UBC Advisory Council his passion for relationship-building and drive to empower people to do good in their community.
Judy Halbert, MEd’90 – Faculty of Education
Judy Halbert has extensive experience in K-12 education. She has served as a teacher, principal, district leader and policy advisor with the Ministry of Education.
She is a co-founder of the British Columbia Networks of Inquiry and Innovation and the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network (www.noii.ca) and recently served as a Canadian representative to the OECD international research program on Innovative Learning Environments. In 2015, she was honoured as one of the 100 notable graduates of the UBC Faculty of Education. She is part of the development and instructional team in the Transformative Educational Leadership Program at UBC.
With Linda Kaser, Judy co-authored Spirals of Inquiry for Equity and Quality (2013), Leadership Mindsets: Innovation and Learning in the Transformation of Schools (2009) and The Spiral Playbook (2017).
Nelson Jatel, BSc’98, MA’14 – Regional Markets Okanagan
Nelson serves as the Water Stewardship Director at the Okanagan Basin Water Board with over 20 years of senior project management and innovation development experience. He holds a science degree in freshwater science (UBC), a Master’s degree (UBC) in water governance, and is a Mitacs Accelerate Doctoral intern researching water governance and social-ecological systems.
Nelson’s research and consulting practice, LRC Consulting Solutions (2001), applies Social Network Analysis to help make ‘invisible’ networks visible and improve organizational governance. With partnership support from the Search and Rescue New Innovation Fund (2018), the LRC team is developing Canada’s first SailingPlan.ca marine safety mobile App in collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada.
Previously, Nelson has taught water law at Okanagan College and was the Executive Director of the Okanagan Partnership Society – a business led non-profit focused on collaboration and identifying practical solutions to support a globally competitive Okanagan.
Nelson is a certified professional small vessel master, and a licensed professional BC Fishing Guide (desertsalmon.ca). In his spare time, Nelson enjoys running, scuba diving, basketball, soccer, local food and wine, and spending time on the family vineyard in Naramata.
Kimani Karangu, MA’17 – Student Representative – President, Graduate Student Society
Kimani Wa Karangu was born and raised in Kenya. Currently working on his PhD in Curriculum Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Canada (UBC) where, he completed his Master of Arts (2017). His Bachelor of Education is from Kenyatta University 2013 with a focus in History and Kiswahili.
His research is focused on improving education in Africa especially in refugee camps, such as Dadaab and Kakuma.
Kimani’s last leadership positions in Kenya included: head teacher and Kiswahili teacher at a charity-run school, elected deputy Chairperson Kenya Primary School Head-teachers Association (KEPSHA) and Kenya Primary School Sports Association (KEPSSA) Voi Sub-County (2013-2015)
While still a PhD Candidate, Kimani is the President at the Graduate Student Society of UBC, Peer Advisor at the Faculty of Education Curriculum and Pedagogy Department UBC, President of the Kenyan Community in British Columbia Canada (KenBC) and member of the Liu Institute Network for Africa at UBC, above all Kimani is a volunteer radio co-host of the African Vibes show at the CO-OP Radio, Vancouver CFRO.
Umang Khandelwal, BA’15 – Recent Graduate
Umang Khandelwal is an incoming articling student at Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP in Toronto. She is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum, a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. During 2018-2019, Umang was an Action Canada Fellow – a national public policy engagement and leadership development program funded by the Government of Canada, delivered by Action Canada in partnership with the Public Policy Forum.
Umang graduated in 2018 from the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law, having served on the Board of the Faculty of Law (2015-2016) and two terms (2016-2018) on University Council, the highest governing body of the university. Umang spent a summer at Hootsuite as a legal student, assisting in international expansions, providing contractual support and improving internal legal processes.
Umang’s prior degree in International Relations was from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where she graduated in 2015 as valedictorian of her graduating class. She spent a term abroad through Go Global at Sciences Po Paris studying economics and politics of the European Union, earning a Certificate in Social Sciences and the Humanities. She is committed to fostering inclusion in communities, having trained and practised as an antidiscrimination workshop facilitator at UBC Equity and Inclusion. During her time at UBC, she was actively involved in student politics and university governance, having served as the Speaker of the Arts Undergraduate Society Council, and as the Associate VP Academic and University Affairs at the AMS.
Umang has participated in the 2014 WTO’s Public Forum in Geneva, the 2014 Council of Europe’s World Democracy Forum in Strasbourg, and the 2013 Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington D.C. In 2016, she represented Canada in China as part of a five-member delegation at the Y20, one of the official stakeholder groups of the G20, and presented the negotiated policy document to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She is dedicated to increasing access to justice for immigrants, refugees, Indigenous peoples and other groups who face structural risks, and has volunteered with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Access Pro Bono BC.
Since moving to Canada with her mother in 2009, Umang carries with her fond memories and values rooted in her childhood in India, which continue to shape and guide her.
Wilson Kwong, DMD’89 – Faculty of Dentistry
Dr. Kwong graduated from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of British Columbia in 1989.
Practicing for 30 years now in Vancouver, Dr. Kwong enjoys mentoring his study club members on Cosmetic, Implantology, and Full Mouth Rehabilitation protocols, which he has developed to enhance patients’ lives.
Dr. Kwong is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry. He is also the founder and mentor of the Vancouver Dental Education Centre, where dentists can learn the latest in clinical patient care and practice management. Dr. Kwong has had several peer-reviewed articles published for his work with anterior and posterior implant ceramic systems. He can be found lecturing in cities throughout North America.
Just recently, Dr. Kwong was bestowed the title as a Fellow of the American College of Dentistry – FACD. A distinction he carries with much pride and honour.
Sunny Leung, BSc’00 – Faculty of Science
Sunny Leung is the Chief Development Officer at S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation, one of the largest social service agencies in BC providing immigrant support in the areas of settlement services, family and senior care, and housing. Prior to joining, Sunny was a Director of Philanthropy at BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, overseeing their annual Miracle Weekend telethon as well as leading their sponsorship and Chinese community fundraising effort.
Sunny has also been involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 2010, serving on their Diversity committee and participating as a panel speaker and moderator in two of their Diversity luncheons. He is now volunteering with the Association’s mentorship program, giving back to the community while helping to develop and mentor other fundraising professionals.
Juanita Lohmeyer, BSc’00 – Faculty of Science
Juanita Lohmeyer BSc, PMP, MBA, CPA, CMA is the President of J.T. Insurance Services (Canada), Inc. Lohmeyer is responsible for leading both the Commercial and Private Client Services arms at JT Insurance. Her focus is on leading customer-centric growth through a high-performance team.
Lohmeyer is an award-winning senior executive whose stellar track record has led to the honour of being named a “Top 40 under Forty” for leaders within the Vancouver Business Community. She has led teams in diverse industry sectors including financial services, telecommunications, information technology and education.
In her 20-year career, she has held senior positions in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors with most recent roles at TELUS, BCAA and ICBC. Her work has cumulated in awards from J.D. Power for Highest Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality Measurement (SQM) for World Class Employee Satisfaction.
In addition to coaching others, Lohmeyer is a relentless learner. She has taught and advised at a number of universities. As a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA), she has taught for CPA Canada. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University and Cornell University with Distinction. In addition to this, she has earned a B.Sc. in Computer Science from UBC and is a Project Management Professional (PMP).
Lohmeyer is passionate about giving back and has a long record of service to disadvantaged communities in Canada and abroad. Her practical, business-based approach to creating workable solutions for providing healthcare, alleviating poverty, and empowering communities across the globe, such as Tanzania and Honduras, led to her being recognized as the winner of the UBC Volunteer Leadership Alumni Achievement Award.
Rachael L’Orsa, BASc’10, BA’11 – Recent Graduate
Rachael L’Orsa graduated from UBC with degrees in both Arts and Engineering, and is now a graduate student at the University of Calgary. She is affiliated with Project neuroArm’s Surgical Performance Laboratory at the Foothills Medical Centre, where she researches adaptive control software for telesurgical robots. She is passionate about youth robotics, organizing free workshops for children and mentoring an all-girls high school robotics team. Rachael maintains a Primary Care Paramedic license with the BC Ambulance Service, and spends summers with the BC Forest Service fighting wildfires.
Diego Mandelbaum, BASc’11 – Alumni at Large
As the sector leader for Stantec’s Buildings Group, Diego is responsible for client management, strategic pursuits, and the top-line growth for our British Columbia operations. He oversees the a team of over 350 engineers, architects, and designers located across the province with offices in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, and Kamloops.
As a mechanical engineer, Diego loves the diversity of projects he gets to work on, and how unique the challenges and solutions can be for each building. An active member of his community, Diego is a participating member of several industry-related, community, and academic organizations. He contributes to numerous professional organizations, and currently sits on the University of British Columbia – Okanagan (UBCO) Alumni and Industry committee and is a guest lecturer for UBCO’s fourth year heating, ventilating, an air conditioning class. Outside of work, Diego an avid mixed martial arts fan, a Brazilian jiujitsu brown belt, and an active competitor in the submission-wrestling world. He also coaches wresting and jiujitsu and aspires to win the World Jiu-jitsu Championships.
Danica Marsden, BSc’05 – Alumni at Large
Growing up in Vancouver, BC, with a top notch university in her back yard, Danica knew she would go to UBC and didn’t even bother applying anywhere else. Danica received her BSc in 2005 in combined honours Physics & Astronomy, working on telescope-building and string theory projects that lead to pursuing a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in experimental cosmology. She volunteered with the UBC astronomy club, and an avid rock climber, served on the board of Penn’s outdoor club, as well as on the Academic Disciplinary Hearing board. A believer in the power of community and philanthropy, Danica also worked with the homeless in Philadelphia for 6 years. Following her PhD, during which she collaborated to discover as yet unseen distant galaxies, Danica accepted a Keck Institute for Space Studies fellowship at Caltech and worked with a research group at UC Santa Barbara to create novel detectors for astrophysics (MKIDs). At the same time, she taught nighttime Astronomy classes for the local Santa Barbara city college.
It was at this point that Danica decided to explore a career outside of academia, blending a love of new technology development with a desire to solve everyday problems. She took a position with Suncor energy in Calgary, exploring novel ways to extract resources, which would improve not just the cost, but also lessen the environmental impact. She now works for the quantum computing start-up DWave as a project manager, helping to create and give access to a technology that will change the way the world works. In her spare time, Danica loves to ski, surf, skydive and play board games. She is a member of the Vancouver concert band, and thinks often about policies or policy change that could help the world.
Grace Mok, BA’02, DAP’03 – Faculty of Arts
Grace Mok received her Bachelor of Arts (economics) in 2002 and a Diploma in Accounting from the Sauder School of Business in 2003. She articled with Ernst & Young LLP and obtained her Chartered Accountant designation (CPA, CA). She is currently a senior financial professional with BC Hydro, responsible for reviewing funding requests and financial models for major capital infrastructure projects. Her other specializations include corporate governance, financial policies, internal controls and compliance.
Grace believes in fostering an enhanced learning experience for post-secondary students through student mentorship programs. Since 2011, she has been a mentor with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow Program, and was named Rookie Mentor of the Year by the program in 2012. She was also a mentor with the UBC Arts Alumni Tri-Mentoring Program and has also served on the Sauder Business Club Executive Board.
Outside of work and her community involvement, Grace is an avid yoga practitioner. She enjoys travelling and has lived in Hong Kong, the UK and Toronto. With her husband, her daughter and her two dogs, she is now happy to call Vancouver home.
Steven Morrison, BMgt’11 – Regional Market – Okanagan
As a solicitor in Farris’ corporate and solicitor practice groups, Steven practices in the areas of corporate/business and commercial law, real estate, banking, financing, securities and wills and estates.
Steven gratefully serves on the board of directors for the local United Way and is often recognized for his significant community involvement including his work with University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat Athletics, alumniUBC, Okanagan College Basketball Program, and as a co-leader of November Project Kelowna.
Steven received his Juris Doctor from the University of Alberta and is also called to the Bar in Alberta.
In his spare time, Steven can be found engaged in community events, staying active, and enjoying the outdoor playground that is the Okanagan Valley. Steven was named as a 2018 City of Kelowna Civic and Community Awards’ Frank Maclin – Man of the Year finalist.
Ali Poostizadeh – Student Representative – UBCSUO
Ali currently serves as President of the Students’ Union of UBC Okanagan (SUO), representing UBC’s undergraduate and graduate students at UBCO. He also serves as the Campaigns Coordinator for the British Columbia Federation of Students, an organization representing 170,000 students across BC.
Ali’s contributions to the UBC community are rooted in his passion for public service and reducing barriers to accessing education. Under Ali’s leadership, the SUO has pivoted to increase its community outreach, federal and provincial lobbying, increased mental health services, and more.
Born in Richmond, VA and raised in Vancouver, BC, in his free time Ali enjoys spending time with family, snowboarding, reading, and traveling. This is Ali’s second year on the SUO, previously serving as Vice President Campus Life, where he had the opportunity to organize events ranging from concerts and educational events, to hosting and moderating a panel with Dr. Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five. Following his degree, Ali hopes to pursue a career in the legal world.
Aaron Sanderson, BA’09 – Regional Market – Toronto
Aaron Sanderson leads the national fundraising strategy for Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only national, 24/7 mental health support service for children and youth, as Senior Vice-President and Chief Development Officer.
He is an international award-winning fundraiser with over thirteen years of experience at leading non-profit organizations, including War Child, SickKids Foundation, Plan International and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. In addition, he has over a decade of senior volunteer experience with non-profit boards and committees, including the Arthritis Society, Habitat for Humanity, Heritage Toronto, Athletics Ontario, Vantage Point and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He has also served on the Regional Leadership Committee for Alumni UBC in Toronto, and teaches in the Fundraising Management program at Humber College.
Aaron holds an MA in Philanthropy and Development, an Associates Certificate in Non-Profit Management and a BA in Political Science and International Relations. He is the eleventh Canadian to earn the international Advanced Certified Fund-Raising Executive (ACFRE) designation, and is a Fellow of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (FAHP). He was named Top 40 Under 40 in North America by AHP, and a “Difference Maker” by the Rick Hansen Foundation during its 25th anniversary relay.
Jane Shackell, LLB’84 – Faculty of Law
Jane Shackell has practiced business law for over 30 years, advising senior executive teams and corporate boards on mergers and acquisitions, partnership and shareholder agreements, franchising, and owner succession. Jane provides practical and timely counsel as a trusted adviser to clients in diverse industries. She is also one of British Columbia’s foremost Fairness Advisors for public sector procurement, advising owners on fairness issues related to public-private partnerships and conventionally-procured projects.
Suzanne Solven, BSc (Pharm)’87 – Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Suzanne Solven is the Associate Vice President Audit, Investigations and Quality Assurance at Pacific Blue Cross. Suzanne brings over 30 years of strategic leadership experience to these positions to ensure health benefits plan sustainability by effective fraud management practices as well as ensuring appropriate controls and enterprise wide risk management plans and systems are in place to control associated risks.
Prior to her work at Pacific Blue Cross, Suzanne was the Deputy Registrar of the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia for over 9 years. In her capacity as Deputy Registrar, Suzanne assisted the Registrar in ensuring successful execution of the College Board’s strategic plan, enhancing stakeholder engagement and inter-professional collaboration, as well as leading the complaints, investigations and legislation departments.
Prior to her work at the College, Suzanne was employed by the government of British Columbia for over 13 years in the positions of Executive Director and Senior Pharmacist of the BC PharmaCare program. While with government Suzanne led many inter-professional, and federal/provincial/territorial drug policy development initiatives such as evidenced based drug review processes, limited use drug coverage, special authorization expert committees and standardized product listing agreements. She was also a provincial partner in the development of the Common Drug Review.
Suzanne co-chaired the first phase of the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy, and was chair of the Advisory Committee on Pharmaceuticals, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health.
Roy Tam, BSc (Agr)’98 – Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Roy was born and raised in Vancouver and holds a BSc of Food Science from UBC and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He joins Daiya from the role of Associate Vice- President, R&D and Quality at Nature’s Path Foods where he spent the last 10 years leading a team of Food Scientists, Nutritionists, Quality Assurance Managers, Regulatory and Consumer Services team members. His main responsibilities included developing pioneering innovation pipelines, driving margin improvement, and discerning consumer and market research to deliver the greatest opportunity for new product launch success.
Roy is well versed in the natural and organic space with a wide network of suppliers, consultants, and many other external partners. Prior to joining Nature’s Path Foods, Roy worked for brands such as Kraft Foods and Campbell Soup in the USA where he was able to hone his skills in R&D, manufacturing, and quality.
Roy is a proud father of three children and has been married to his beautiful wife, Cathy, for almost 15 years. In his spare time, Roy enjoys exercising, so that he can feed into his other passion: eating! Roy loves to explore different food cuisines and is always up for trying new and unique foods. Roy is also a part time chauffeur (who doesn’t get paid) as he constantly drives his kids from one activity to another such as figure skating lessons, badminton practices, Chinese school, tutoring, swimming lessons, and Air Cadet requirements. Lastly, Roy is a member of the alumni UBC Advisory Council where he volunteers his time to provide advice and counsel on strategies, special work teams, and active dialogues around university issues and opportunities.
Katherina Tarnai-Lokhorst, BASc’87 – Regional Market – Victoria
Dr. Katherina Tarnai-Lokhorst, P.Eng., FEC, graduated from UBC with her Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1987. A Professional Engineer in BC specializing in aerodynamic design, aircraft manufacturing and leadership, Katherina began instructing as Faculty at Camosun College in 1994 and as Adjunct Professor at UBC Mechanical Engineering, in 2017.
Katherina holds a Master of Business Administration (UofPhx ’07) and a Doctor of Social Sciences (RRU ’18). Her dissertation explores the perceptions of gendered careers in high school with the goal of increasing gender diversity in engineering. She worked closely with Physics 11 teachers to develop new discovery-based learning guides that incorporated engineering design principles into Physics laboratory activities. These activities identified trends in increasing students’ feelings of inclusion, self-efficacy and belonging.
Katherina is frequently invited to speak at conferences and forums on her research and community work, most recently at the BCIT Diversity Circle and at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Women’s Leadership Circle.
Having served as an elected member of Council for five years, Katherina is currently President of Engineers and Geoscientists BC (egbc.ca). She has served on several academic and corporate governance committees and is a Fellow of Engineers Canada, recognition for her years of exemplary service and commitment to the profession of engineering.
Katherina is Principal of the Lokhorst Group Ventures and, through the years, has been active in the Victoria community through various roles with United Way Greater Victoria and the Community Justice Association of Greater Victoria. Currently, Katherina sits on the UBC Alumni Victoria Leadership Council, is Music Minister and Cantor at her parish in Saanich, BC, and sings in a semi-professional jazz trio.
Arthur Tsai, BSc (For Sci)’95, MSc’12 – Faculty of Forestry
Arthur Tsai leads Canfor’s lumber marketing analytics and intelligence for both domestic and international markets. He analyses market dynamics and emerging global trends to facilitate the organization’s long-term sales growth strategies. Key areas of focus include global competitive analysis, commodity price forecast, Lumber Futures hedging and forest products chain of custody certifications. Arthur has over 25 years of experience in the BC wood products industry and graduated from UBC Faculty of Forestry with BSF’95 and MSc’12.
Jason Tse, BA’92 – Faculty of Arts
Jason Tse is an aviation, and economic development professional with a hybrid of experience and education in finance and marketing. Jason is currently with the Vancouver Airport Authority in Cargo and Land Development. He recently rejoined the airport in 2018 after a three-year secondment as Executive Director of Business Development at HQ Vancouver, a private public partnership to promote the establishment of corporate head offices in B.C. Having been with YVR since 2000 he has held previous roles in Corporate Finance, Innovative Travel Solutions, and Air Service Development.
Jason holds an MBA from the University of Saskatchewan, a BA in Economics from UBC and holds both the Canadian Investment Manager and Chartered Financial Analyst designations. He has held previous board positions with the Hong Kong Canada Business Association, Tourism Richmond, the Richmond Museum Society and the Council for the Americas. He is also currently the BC Ambassador for MAPLE Business Council, a bilateral trade organization promoting trade between Southern California and Canada. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Board for the World Trade Vancouver, a franchise owned by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
Jason has championed the cause for hiring interns and fresh graduates and has brought on a host interns from both UBC and other schools to the airport over the last decade. He has been a Golden Key Tri Mentor and Arts Tri-mentor and has been working closely with the Vancouver School of Economics over the last several years to develop their Advisory Board and outreach into the corporate community.
Jason enjoys playing softball, volleyball, and skiing outside of work and coaches and manages youth baseball and football.